These travel problems are especially bad in the wet season, when heavy rains can make it more difficult to move around the state.
However, reaching remote parts of the state is set to become easier, with the recently announced upgrade of two airports in the far north of Queensland.
The federal government will be funding a $790,000 upgrade of Pormpuraaw airport, in order to raise the safety levels of the airport and make it more useful for communities in the area.
Another remote airfield – Kowanyama aerodrome – will also be expanded, at a cost of $225,000.
Both these airports are part of the government’s Regional Aviation Access Programme, which has recently announced the upgrading of four airfields, including these two in Queensland.
Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss pointed out how these new infrastructure projects would bring benefits for remote communities.
“Under the Programme we are now providing $9.1 million to upgrade 42 remote airstrips across Australia,” Mr Truss said. “[The] Remote Airstrip Upgrade funding provides essential safety and access upgrades, including repairing and upgrading runways, constructing animal proof perimeter fencing, installing runway lighting and upgrading drainage.”
These airports are vital for Australia’s most remote communities. essential medical and postal services use these facilities to make deliveries, while locals can use the increased accessibility to travel to other parts of Australia and make the most of employment and education opportunities.
These improvements will also allow the airport to run in adverse weather conditions when roads cannot be used because of flooding.
New projects an opportunity for apprentices
While these construction jobs are small, they offer an exciting opportunity for those looking to start an apprenticeship. These projects will require a range of trade skills needed in construction, from plumbers to electricians.
Once completed, these projects will also offer further opportunities for apprenticeship work in fields related to the management of an airport. Welders and vehicle mechanics will likely benefit from the expansion and renovation of these remote airfields.
Finally, these projects will increase opportunities for indigenous employment in these areas, both in the initial construction phases and in the ongoing possibilities which these airports will open up for locals.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator